PaintBox West Roxbury

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The Mayor’s Office & West Roxbury Main Streets invite Boston area artists to make art out of our electrical utility boxes, an overlooked urban form in our district. The PaintBox program, organized by the Boston Art Commission, is geared towards the recognition and celebration of local artists. Artists paint City of Boston utility boxes with original designs. Once professionally painted, these utility boxes in neighborhood business districts contribute to the vitality and attractiveness of the urban streetscape and deter graffiti.



  • Up to three (3) designs by each Boston artist will be considered at a time. The PaintBox design template can be downloaded here.
  • Once designs are completed, email them to by June 30th, 2018.
  • Selections will be made by the Boston Art Commission & West Roxbury Main Streets in a collaborative process.
  • Artists must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Artists will be notified if and when their designs are selected.
  • All box themes are welcome, if you’d like ideas contact


  • Preferences for specific boxes and/or neighborhood will be considered but cannot be guaranteed. PaintBox projects proposed for some historic districts may not be approved.
  • Artists must avoid dark palettes in order to prevent boxes from overheating in the sun.
  • Artists must supply their own materials, tools, and water while painting.
  • The utility boxes must be scraped, cleaned and primed (with automobile spray primer) before painting.  Please tape over functional areas– hinges, vents, locks, meters, keyholes, and any cautionary text – as the operational use of the boxes cannot be obstructed by paint.
  • Artists are responsible for protecting their work from the elements and possible vandalism by using durable materials and a protective varnish and coating of wax. As you develop your designs, please keep in mind that large, empty monochrome areas do not help to discourage vandalism.
  • The area around the box must be maintained at all times, including passage on the sidewalk for pedestrians and unobstructed traffic lanes, as well as protecting the area from drips, etc. A dropcloth must be used while priming and painting.
  • Please subtly incorporate the text ‘Sponsored by the City of Boston’ into your design.



Participating Boston artists will receive a $300 stipend from the West Roxbury Main Streets upon completion of their box. Artists are responsible for the cost of all materials required to complete and protect their artwork. In order to receive payment, artists must submit the following:

  • A photo of the electric utility meter number (if visible)
  • Photos of the completed PaintBox
  • A completed W-9



Visit to see examples of PaintBoxes in the city.

Please contact Danielle Joseph, Director of West Roxbury Main Streets at 617.325.6400 or with any questions.

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